Hello, my name is Ian Firkins and I am a very ordinary angler. If there was a school report for fishing, mine would read "tries hard, could do better"! See below my attempts to catch big fish (well, any fish!) of various species from the rivers Trent, Derwent, Dove and Soar.
Met up with Tim again for another evening bash at the zander on the Trent and Mersey Canal. In contrast to the tree-lined section at Stretton, the spot we were fishing this time was pretty featureless apart from the marina entrance directly in front of us. When we arrived there was a clear difference in the water clarity in the marina and in the canal, visible in the photograph below.
I set up to the left of the entrance and Tim to the right. The boat traffic had near enough died down to nothing, so we were able to put a rod each into the entrance itself and another slightly to the side. I stuck to deadbait sections on a hair rig with a size 6 single, whilst Tim fished whole, lip-hooked baits. My deadbaits had been in literally 5 minutes when the rod up the channel signalled a take, resulting in a small zander. Just as I'd returned it the left hand rod was away. This time it was decent perch with a liking for a bleak tail section.
Stripey - the deadbait is to the left
A couple of missed runs followed, then it was quiet until about 6.45 pm. Over the next 15 minutes we had 6 runs, resulting in five zander. My first was my largest from the canal so far, whilst the second one was the smallest and had a pike hot on its heels as I drew him into the bank!
Tim had three in quick succession, including the biggest of the night at about 3lb.
Best so far
By this time it was fully dark and, as the wind dropped, we could see that the area in front of us was absolutely packed with silver fish, the surface of the canal erupting periodically as unseen predators piled into them. With so much fresh food in the larder, the action on the deadbaits slowed right down, with only a handful of runs over the next two hours. Tim was unlucky to lose what looked to be a very good fish when his trace failed near the hook (no comment, mate!). A zander finally came to my rod at 9 pm giving us hope that we'd be in for a late flurry, but with nothing else subsequently happening we were packed and away at 9.30.